Christmas by Robert Adams

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In the good old times of England,
   The merrie times of yore,
Our fathers kept the Christmas feast
   A dozen days or more:  
A spacious hall and ashler work 
   Was hung with evergreen,
The mistletoe from the old oak bough,
   And the holly there were seen. 

A table in the midst was spread,
   A table long and wide --
And ancient knight and lady fair 
   Were seated side by side;  
The door upon its hinges swung
   For tenant and for lord,
And sparkling eyes and ruddy cheeks 
   Were ranged around the board.

The feast was in profusion spread,
   Enough for all to eat,
Hot frumenty at breakfast
   Of milk and husked meat.
Roast beef and goose and pudding
   Made up the dinner cheer;   
And everybody finished off
   With tankards of good beer.

And in the tall old chimney place
   (The glowing hearth between),
The young folks cracking nuts and jokes
   On seats of stone are seen -- 
And thus relates the chronicle :
   "The sons and daughters fair  
Made up their matches all at home,
   Nor went away to pair."

The trees bent low with glittering snows
   The frost is on the brake,
The winds held carnival show
   In many a forest lane.
But while stern winter raged without
   'Twas summer in the hail,
Where met our glorious ancestors
   To keep the festival.

A health then to the good old times
   Of tenant, page, and squire,
Of massive hall, and groaning board,
   And blazing Christmas fire --
Where youthful hearts had naught of care,
   And hoary age grew green,
And gallant knights and ladies fair
   On all the land were seen.

First published in The Australian Town and Country Journal, 27 December 1879

Author reference site: Austlit 

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 27, 2012 7:01 AM.

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